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When the freshman 15 turns into the sophomore 20, the junior 30 or the senior 50 — you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
During college, we’re so focused on feeding our minds that we can ignore what we’re feeding our stomachs. And before you know it, your weight can slip out of control. That’s what happened to me.
Personally, weight has been a life-long battle, except for a brief point in high school where I dropped tons weight magically due to unhealthy methods like skipping meals and dehydration. But when college came, I gained significantly more than those dreaded 15 pounds.
As the years went on, I noticed the problem getting worse. But my excuse was always, “I’m too busy to deal with that right now.” With a full plate of classes, internships, extra curricula and a social life, weight loss was not my biggest priority.
It all came to a boil when I realized that my weight was affecting my everyday life, which was a first for me. I’ve always had friends, never been teased and avoided all physical activities that might result in embarrassment.
Last semester, the beginning of my senior year, I noticed that my dress size had ballooned to 3XL. I would pause to catch my breath after climbing a small flight of stairs. I was eating out every day. And worst of all, I had trouble fitting in the desks in lecture halls.
It was a “how did I let this happen?” kind of moment. I finally saw that I was a few steps away from being unsalvageable. I understood that weight loss was no longer an option. It was a necessity.
So, I’m embarking on a journey to reclaim my life. It includes ditching habits I’ve had since childhood, ignoring my craving for fast food and getting my butt to the gym. I’m doing it the healthy way — no crash dieting, no crazy workout schedule and no starving myself.
Even though college seems like a terrible time to fit in weight loss, it could be worse. Fixing the problem now is better than waiting until the real world, where careers, marriage and children will get in the way.
Symbolically, college might be the perfect time to reclaim your life. As you transition to adulthood, you leave behind a younger, more naïve self. You might as well leave behind that weight you never want to see again.
In future columns, I will talk to health professionals, discuss my struggles, and try to answer the question of “what is beauty?” Stay tuned for advice for living a healthy life, and to know you’re not the only person struggling with weight issues.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.